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Wednesday, Apr 17, 2024

BJ’s Restaurants: Dining Room Reopenings, Protest Disruptions

BJ’s Restaurants Inc. (Nasdaq: BJRI) said it continues to reopen restaurant dining rooms and recover sales, despite more recent disruptions to the business from the protests and subsequent curfews.

The Huntington Beach-based company, which had a recent market cap of $470 million, said in a business update Thursday 178 restaurants in 24 states have reopened their dining rooms after being shuttered due to states’ COVID-19 shelter-in-place orders.

“Early results from our reopened dining rooms are encouraging, with double-digit weekly sequential sales increases over the last four weeks, CEO Greg Trojan said.

The company owns a total of 209 restaurants, with all but one expected to be open this week and dining rooms operational at over 85% of those doors.

Sales for the current quarter through June 9 were off 64%, part of the decline attributed to partial or full-on closures in response to protests resulting from the killing of George Floyd and some cities’ curfews.

The company said restaurants with reopened dining rooms not impacted by the recent protests and curfews have been able to generate some 70% of prior-year sales.

Ultimately, BJ’s said in its update it expects cash flow to turn positive.

BJ’s last month raised $70 million from several funds, including one started by Panera Bread founder Ron Shaich. The investment offered additional liquidity as the company began slowly reopening in-restaurant dining.

Go here for more updates on OC companies’ responses to the coronavirus.

For ongoing, in-depth coverage of the coronavirus’ effects on OC businesses, see the Monday print edition of the Business Journal.

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